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Brad Eden

It wasn’t real pretty...

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GLS

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Brad Eden

I’m only 25 years into the wild turkey hunting game, so a relative tyro, and not a wildlife biologist, but have learned there is a distinct difference between an obvious 2 year old (it’s behavior, head size, heft, beard, Spurs) and an older 3-4 year old gobbler. You know an older bird when you handle one. JMO

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GLS

While on the subject of missed shots because of "too close", the miss is often the result of aiming for just below the head which can be bobbing, etc, at the time of trigger pull.  There is a school of thought that on close in shots, 15 yards and under, the aim point should be at the wing butt which puts the load above the breast.   I haven't tried this but I'd hesitate to do so on a moving bird, especially one hauling buggy.  The most painful miss in recent times was a bird who flushed upon the miss, folded on the airborne shot and was never recovered 11-12 seasons ago.  The silver lining from that incident that I bought my first Britt puppy that I figured could double duty as a little bird dog with an occasional big bird recovery on a  wounded one.   Gil

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Brad Eden

I might try switching to left handed for wild turkey hunting with my open sight shotguns. Even with fiber optics I’m having trouble getting a clear look. I am very farsighted now, and lost some clarity in my dominant right eye after a “dramatic vitreous detachment” episode a few years back. When I look down the barrel with left eye things are a lot clearer. I may end up going with some sort of scope next season if I stay right handed. I still haven’t figured out how I missed my first gobbler on the first shot. Getting old ain’t for sissies. 

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GLS
2 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

I’m only 25 years into the wild turkey hunting game, so a relative tyro, and not a wildlife biologist, but have learned there is a distinct difference between an obvious 2 year old (it’s behavior, head size, heft, beard, Spurs) and an older 3-4 year old gobbler. You know an older bird when you handle one. JMO

I had deleted that post as it wasn't on point to the thread but you caught it first.  I think the distinction between older and younger bird is actually the difference between experience and no experience being pursued by hunters.  I have killed small birds with large spurs and beards.  I have killed ostrich size birds with dinky spurs and beards.  I have tangled with birds that gave me fits through a season and end up with it in hand with a not so special beard or spurs.  I have seen huge jakes larger than mature birds.  Genetics and food opportunity (agricultural or other) that influences size rather than age.  Gil 

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SelbyLowndes

For what it's worth, I've had success on running away turkeys by ignoring the head which is moving too much and just shooting them square in the back. Same nervous system down the backbone as in the neck...SelbyLowndes

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GLS
3 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

I might try switching to left handed for wild turkey hunting with my open sight shotguns. Even with fiber optics I’m having trouble getting a clear look. I am very farsighted now, and lost some clarity in my dominant right eye after a “dramatic vitreous detachment” episode a few years back. When I look down the barrel with left eye things are a lot clearer. I may end up going with some sort of scope next season if I stay right handed. I still haven’t figured out how I missed my first gobbler on the first shot. Getting old ain’t for sissies. 

Once eye issues become a problem the simplest solution is a red dot system.   Where the dot lies the shot flies.  Some folks because of religious or philosophical issues refuse to use them. ;)

I added an Aimpoint to my SBE in the late 1990s after my eyes failed to resolve the sight picture though my Williams Firesights.  I've since moved on to the less expensive and more compact Burris Fast Fire III series.  Have I missed since using a red dot?  Am I still alive?  Gil

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Brad Eden
9 minutes ago, GLS said:

I had deleted that post as it wasn't on point to the thread but you caught it first.  I think the distinction between older and younger bird is actually the difference between experience and no experience being pursued by hunters.  I have killed small birds with large spurs and beards.  I have killed ostrich size birds with dinky spurs and beards.  I have tangled with birds that gave me fits through a season and end up with it in hand with a not so special beard or spurs.  I have seen huge jakes larger than mature birds.  Genetics and food opportunity (agricultural or other) that influences size rather than age.  Gil 

Yeah, I was quick on the draw there. I’m simply expressing my experience and opinion for Maine. My two gobblers this spring although similar in weight were significantly different as far as behavior (I know that’s a very nebulous gauge at best) coloration, head size, beard length and bushiness, and spur length and sharpness. They were both shot in the same general area. I’m convinced the first was a 2 year old and the second a 3 year old. I could be wrong but I don’t think so. I’ve also shot bushy beard limb hangers that weighed 16.5 pounds, and stubby bearded and stub-spurred and notched tailed Jakes that we’re close to 18 pounds. I suppose a lot depends on where they have been living and if they are sneaking into bird feeders and piles of sunflowers and corn or are scavenging in the woods 

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Brad Eden

CE73DD5D-9BC7-43DB-85CF-E42128A0536B.jpeg
 

Tired...worn down...but I was out at fly down with Scott trying to get him a bird. I’m using this UJ Traveling Box Call along with my usual mouth calls and slate. It’s a very sweet sounding box call. We heard two gobbling birds on the roost but another hunter had beat us to the spot. (Very unusual here, but happens). All other attempts at locating gobbling birds failed and we hunted and prospected for close to 4 hours. We did find a gaggle of 1/2 dozen or so Jakes that wouldn’t make a sound nor come in to calls. It ain’t over til it’s over on June 6th.
 


 

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Treerooster

Good to see you got the Travel Call Brad.

 

On the subject of age of a gobbler. I called in a bird for a friend that was banded in a study. That bird was 3 years old (known age as it was banded as a jake) a good size (I don't weigh turkeys), and had 1 1/4" spurs. 3 years later I shot a banded bird about 100 yards from where my friend killed his. That bird just happened to be banded at the same trapping as my friends bird and was also a jake at the banding. My bird was 6 years old, small for a gobbler in the area, and had 1 1/8" spurs. No real correlation there between size, spur length, and age. Environment didn't have influence on it as both birds hung out in the same area. I do think environment can have an affect, but this was all genetics IMO.

 

When I was just over 50 years old I had trouble with open sights. Missed 4 turkeys that season, 3 at around 25 to 30 yards. Perfect range. Went to a dot sight and problem solved. A dot sight makes it easier for me to shoot off-handed too.

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GLS
1 hour ago, Brad Eden said:

I’m only 25 years into the wild turkey hunting game, so a relative tyro, and not a wildlife biologist, but have learned there is a distinct difference between an obvious 2 year old (it’s behavior, head size, heft, beard, Spurs) and an older 3-4 year old gobbler. You know an older bird when you handle one. JMO

I know of hunters with a third of my time hunting birds that are far better at it than I ever was or ever will be.  It's like any other endeavor; some folks are better at it than others; they have the "knack".  25 years is a lot of experience.  Gil

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Brad Eden

Any brand of red dot recommended?

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GLS

Burris Fast Fire 3. About 1 oz.   Sumtoy mount. Lower than Picatinny which keeps cheek on the stock without need to raise comb. There are other mounts. Vortex Venom is another popular small dot. Burris offers lifetime warranty without registration. Great customer service. Around $200 delivered. Long life battery. Battery can be changed without removing unit or changing zero. Waterproof. 3 or 8 moa. 

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hobbes

Vortex Venom.

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Bluegill68

I have the ff3 on a speedbead mount on my Benelli m2 i cant think of anything better.  I have shot geese with this set up target acquisition is second nature. 

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